The reticular activating system in the brain is responsible for drawing your attention to certain things in the environment dependent on beliefs (aka thought habits) that one has wired into the brain
brain = filter of reality
Beliefs are formed by repetition — if you repeat a thought long enough, it becomes a “truth” for you…
How does a thought go from random to belief? When does the reticular activating system “engrain” the thought and start focusing your attention on things in the environment that correlate with that belief/thought?
Well thought + emotion = saliency
A memory with an emotional flag becomes salient and the brain then thinks it is more important so it will pay more attention to it and anything related to it
Saliency can come from intense pleasure (POSITIVE EMOTION) or intense fear/pain (NEGATIVE EMOTION)We have the power to give saliency/meaning to thoughts/emotions (as does the media!) → we are the ones who get to decide which thoughts and things in the environment are salient to us…. Because if left only to the brain (and others in our environment aka media), we will be ruled by pain/pleasure…. (since pain/pleasure are the 2 controllers of evolution)
pain = avoid
pleasure = pursue
even more important to consider is the fact that if we do not ACTIVELY choose our focus, ACTIVELY choose what parts of our environment are salient (important) to us, if left to the media or this society, in general we will be ruled by FEAR.
fear is the main way to control people— when people are scared, they will listen to those who say they have the solutions/know more than you and want to “keep you safe”
so it is very important to question thoroughly the stimuli that you are paying attention to, because our realities are really created by what we put our focus on, which determines what our brains put saliency (importance) on and therefore what our brains continue to pay most attention to….
it’s a potentially vicious cycle
I.e. you can chose to ACTIVELY put your focus on how grateful you are for the amazing things in your life, focusing on deriving a lot of pleasure from the simple little things in life, so that your brain will pay more and more attention to simple little pleasures that make you feel good
i.e. some little things I actively pay more attention to and emphasize how grateful I am for them, since they make me feel as sweet as honey
-Chill Pill essential oil from Sprouts
-morning outside alone with aunt’s dogs and coffee
-Nature (Emerson’s essay)
-Nenuco spanish cologne